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DOF - give give give me more more more more more (Wonderstuff in case you don't know)


Sus 10 3.2k 9 England
30 Oct 2011 8:31AM
Ok, so I took a bunch of portraits on a white background.

Details:

f5
1/125 ss
ISO 640
Flash in Ezybox plus some window light.

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Sus 10 3.2k 9 England
30 Oct 2011 8:34AM
Hang on, trying to fill in 2 things here, the above describes lighting on

http://www.ephotozine.com/photo/clean-spaniel-20565176

seen in unmodified (except resized) version here:
img-7804-span-orig.jpg




What aperture size should I be using to get it sharp all the way through (going for Tim Flasch really crisp look).

I have 2 speedlites, one was in a softbox, at the time the other had run out of batteries!
mikehit e2
5 6.8k 11 United Kingdom
30 Oct 2011 9:18AM
DOF depends on focal length, aperture and distance so we do not have enough distance. But Iguess if you were about 10-12 feet away and the puppy is 18" long?

According to this
http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

you will need 80mm lens at f16 if you want to focus on the eyes (recommended).

Nice shotSmile
Sus 10 3.2k 9 England
30 Oct 2011 9:50AM
I'd forgotten about that site! (and it has updated with all the latest camera makes, great!).

So this is becoming a bit clearer.

Using my 50mm, I was closer than 10-12 feet, lets say I was about 5-6 feet away - now that starts to explain the low DOF. At 5.5ft away f16 I get 1.1ft DOF.

Is that why you suggest using an 80mm - to get further away and more DOF? (Edit: just tested and only increasing distance with the same focal length lens gives greater DOF, makes no difference if you have to switch to a more telephoto lens).

However, even at 6ft, if I stop down to f8 I can get 2.11 ft of DOF.

In this situation, would you recommend my preferred choice of action would be to a) stop right down with the 50mm lens and increase ISO and flash power to compensate for light loss or b) try to increase my distance back, given that I can crop with the resolution on the 5DII?

That's a bit of a silly question isn't it? Sorry I'm just rambling a bit as I learn here, thanks for your input mikehit - I am going to try this! (Always been a bit nervous of upping the ISO too much but I had a canvas print of one of these done at ISO 640 and it was fine!)
kaybee 10 3.9k 24 Scotland
30 Oct 2011 10:30AM
NO - if you 'stop down' from f8 to f16 you will get more depth of focus not less
Sus 10 3.2k 9 England
30 Oct 2011 10:37AM
yes that's what I want!

I was shooting at f5.6, so f8 IS 'stopping down' for me! I don't think I'll need to go to f16, well I hope not...
User_Removed 4 4.6k 1 Scotland
30 Oct 2011 3:43PM

Quote: I don't think I'll need to go to f16, well I hope not...


Any particular reason why not?

Remember that "depth of field" is not an absolute concept. You do not suddenly reach a point where you drop from "in focus" to "out of focus". It is a graded degradation in the degree of focus sharpness and, to a very large extent, is subjective according to how the individual viewer sees it.
User_Removed 4 4.6k 1 Scotland
30 Oct 2011 3:46PM
....having said that, to my eye, some of the very best dog "portraits" I have seen have had the eyes sharply in focus, the rest of the head reasonably in focus and a definite bokeh to the rest of the animal.

It's really all a matter of taste.

flight3.jpg




One of my labrador retrievers, Flight.

1/8 sec. f/4.5, ISO 250, focal length 70mm.

.
Sus 10 3.2k 9 England
30 Oct 2011 5:14PM
How far away were you with that portrait LeftForum?
User_Removed 10 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
30 Oct 2011 5:18PM
I want to shout!

USE YOUR DOF PREVIEW BUTTON WHILE ADJUSTING THE APERTURE




Sus 10 3.2k 9 England
30 Oct 2011 5:31PM
Eeek, I've never used it!!! That guy is so right! I AM freaked out by control of chaos - chaos is so much easier for me.

But I WILL TRY IT

just to please you CL!
NikLG 9 1.7k England
30 Oct 2011 6:22PM
nothing to add on the dof front, but kudos for the Wonderstuff quote.
User_Removed 4 4.6k 1 Scotland
30 Oct 2011 8:02PM

Quote:How far away were you with that portrait LeftForum?


According to the EXIF, 1.2 metres. And it was several years ago, using a Nikon D80.


.
mikehit e2
5 6.8k 11 United Kingdom
31 Oct 2011 12:02AM

Quote:Using my 50mm, I was closer than 10-12 feet, lets say I was about 5-6 feet away - now that starts to explain the low DOF. At 5.5ft away f16 I get 1.1ft DOF.

Is that why you suggest using an 80mm - to get further away and more DOF? (Edit: just tested and only increasing distance with the same focal length lens gives greater DOF, makes no difference if you have to switch to a more telephoto lens).



The reason I mentioned 80mm was purely because that is a typical focal length for portraits and I assumed that is what you may be using.
With progressively shorter focal lengths you need to move closer to achieve the same framing but as you do so, you increase the risk of distorting perpective of the facial features (for example the 'bulging nose' effect seen when you use a wide angle close up). This may not be obivous when you avhe the head in focus and body OOF, but if you plan to have the body in focus, any 'incorrect perspective' may become more important because the apparent proportions of head size to body length may 'just look wrong'. It is all personal preference so play around with distance (and thereby focal length) and see which you prefer.
Sus 10 3.2k 9 England
31 Oct 2011 7:57AM
Thanks for the detail Left, and thanks Mike, I will try using my 100mm lens instead.

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